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Japanese Market Slightly Lower

The Japanese stock market is slightly lower on Thursday after being in the green most of the morning session, extending the losses in the previous two sessions, with the Nikkei 225 staying just above the 26,600 mark, despite the broadly positive cues overnight from the global markets, as traders digested the minutes from the US Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting and comments.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 29.16 points or 0.11 percent at 26,641.32, after touching a high of 26,898.75 earlier. Japanese stocks closed modestly lower on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 2 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding almost 3 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining almost 1 percent and Toyota is advancing more than 2 percent.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is edging down 0.5 percent, Advantest is losing 1.5 percent and Tokyo Electron is declining almost 2 percent.

In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial is edging up 0.5 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is gaining almost 1 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding more than 1 percent.

Among the major exporters, Sony and Canon are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Panasonic is adding almost 2 percent. Mitsubishi Electric is slipping more than 4 percent.

Among the other major losers, DeNA is plunging almost 9 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is losing more than 4 percent, Taiyo Yuden is down more than 3 percent and Pacific Metals is declining almost 3 percent.

Conversely, Unitika is surging more than 7 percent, while Keio and Mitsui Chemicals are gaining more than 4 percent each. Mitsui Fudosan, J. Front Retailing and Rakuten are up almost 4 percent each, while Oki Electric, Subaru and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are advancing more than 3 percent each. Keisei Electric Railway, Toto, T&D Holdings, Sumitomo Osaka Cement and East Japan Railway are adding almost 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 127 yen-range on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Wednesday before ending the day mostly higher. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rebounded after ending Tuesday's trading at its lowest closing level since November 2020.

The major averages all closed in positive territory, with the Nasdaq leading the advance. While the Nasdaq surged 170.29 points or 1.5 percent to 11,434.74, the S&P 500 jumped 37.25 points or 1 percent to 3,978.73 and the Dow climbed 191.66 points or 0.6 percent to 32,120.28.

The major European markets also all moved to the upside over the course of the session. While the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.7 percent, the German DAX Index climbed by 0.6 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.5 percent.

Crude oil futures settled higher on Wednesday, lifted by tight supplies and expectations of higher demand during the summer driving season. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July gained $0.56 or 0.5 percent at $110.33 a barrel.

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